Friday, March 27, 2015

Red Blazer Girls; The Ring of Rocamadour by Michael D. Beil

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Red Blazer Girls; The Ring of Rocamadour
Author: Michael D. Beil
Lexile: 720
Length: 304 Pages
Genre: Mystery
Awards: None
Reading Ram Star Rating: 4.7 out of 5 Stars

          Sophie St. Pierre thinks her life is all normal. She goes to St. Veronica's School for girls, and has a pretty regular life. Then one day in the middle of English class, she looks out the window, and of course, screams. Sophie and her friends, Margaret Wrobel, Rebecca Chen, and Leigh Ann Jaimes, are enlisted to help an eccentric old woman retrieve something long forgotten, a present hidden by the woman's father. The gift, a birthday present to the old woman's daughter Caroline, was hidden away for 20 years. Now it is up to the girls to find the object before others do, using their wits and strengths to crack the clues and find the gift before it is too late. Can they find it, with all the problems and complications of middle school, not to mention many more internal problems within their little group?
          I absolutely loved this book, it is amazing! The humor in this book is so funny and I just love all the characters! Sophie St. Pierre, a common New York citizen, living on the upper east side of Manhattan. Then there is Margaret Wrobel, an astoundingly smart Polish girl. Rebecca Chen, a smart and sassy artist, whose work is amazing, as said by her friends. And finally there is Leigh Ann Jaimes, a sweet, easy to love, gorgeous actor who is the newbie in their tight group. Each of these characters were so well thought out, with specific traits, you wouldn't think any of them would be friends at all! Yet they are the tightest bunch of BFF's ever! The author did a really great job writing this book, the specific clues were each so well thought out, I could look back in the book and solve them myself! The crazy part is, the author is a boy! A boy, writing about almost teenage girls. He still did a really great job with it though! I would recommend this book to 4th graders-7th graders. It is kind of a young book, and not really an amazing book for boys. I myself got lost in this awesome story, as I'm sure you will too. You should definitely try it out, especially if you loved the Nancy Drew books, this is another great mystery!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Criss Cross by Lynn Rae Perkins

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Criss Cross
Author: Lynn Rae Perkins
Lexile: 820
Length: 337 Pages
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Awards: Newbery Medal
Reading Ram Star Rating: 1.5 out of 5 Stars

        Debbie lives in a small town, and she has never left once. It's the middle of the summer, she's bored with her life. She thinks a lot. She wishes things would be different. She wished something would happen. Something good, to her. Debbie has some friends, Hector, Lenny, and Patty. During the summer they were hanging out one day and started listening to a radio show. Every Saturday night, they got in a truck and turned up the radio and listened. It brought them together, they spent every week doing it. They looked forward to it and always had a laugh. Then everyone started doing their own thing. Lenny found a secret talent and started to use it. Hector started taking guitar lessons. And Patty was just busy. So Debby was left to do her own thing. She met someone very special, and did some very good things. Then everything comes together, and she is left with very special things. And very special experiences.
        I did not like this book at all! I seriously don't understand why it won the Newbery Medal! It was so incredibly boring at the beginning I honestly almost put it away. Harry Potter was a little strange at the beginning, but at least it wasn't that boring. This book was horrible! Nothing really happened until the end. And the stuff at the end didn't even make for a good book. Debby was bored with her life. Blah blah blah, she met someone she thinks she likes, blah blah blah, then she flirts with another boy. It just doesn't say anything good at all, maybe a couple life lessons. Like you have too look at life in a different ways, stuff like that. That alone is the only reason why I gave it 1.5 stars. If you need a book to trash, then read this one. 5th graders would probably get it a little, but really, I would just stay away from this book altogether. Since it's not good, it takes forever to read. Don't read it if you want to keep a good opinion of books!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Elemental by Antony John

Author: Antony John
Lexile: 580
Length: 326 Pages
Genre: Dystopia
Awards: None
Reading Ram Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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        Thomas lives in a small colony in what he thinks is the middle of nowhere. It is an extremely tiny civilization with a grand total of 16 people living in it. They live on the tiny island of Hatteras right next to Roanoke Island. The plague, a horrible incurable disease, has cut the world into pieces. Hatteras Island is one of the only small colonies left. Then one day there is a storm, and the Guardians, a.k.a. the rulers of their colony, send all of the children to the storm shelter on Roanoke Island. Thomas and his friends worry when the Guardians don't show up to collect them after a day. Then they find out that the Guardians and all of their families have been kidnapped by pirates who think that one of the kids is the solution to the plague. Thomas and his friends have to rescue their families and the Guardians from the pirates, and uncover secrets they were never supposed to know.
        I really like this book a lot, it is a really good one. But the name, Thomas, reminds me a lot of another book, The Maze Runner. I guess it's a popular name, it kind of makes you think that the person is just a regular character or something, then they become more. That's probably the case in this book. I really liked how in this book, it talked about Roanoke Island, and that currently is a mystery, so I thought that was just cool. One thing I didn't like however, was that it had almost magic in it. This book is a dystopian book, and they generally don't have magic in them. Just a lot of science and a wrecked futuristic world to live in, i.e. The Hunger Games, and Divergent. But I mean, the author can do whatever they want, but still. This book is the first book in a the Elemental series, the next one is called Firebrand. I would definitely recommend this book to middle school kids and possibly Freshman in High School. There was kind of a lot of sickness, blood, fighting, and whatnot. But it is a really great book, and you should really consider trying it out in your free time. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper

Stella by Starlight
Author: Sharon M. Draper
Lexile: 740 
Length: 320 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Awards: None
Reading Ram Star Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

        Stella Mills lives in Bumblebee, North Carolina, in the still segregated South. The Ku Klux Klan is active in her town, and they don't like it when the colored people don't follow the rules. She can't go to the white doctor, but she can go to the candy store. Stella and her family live in fear of the Klan, and what they could do to them. Stella goes to the Colored school, with the worst books and an out of tune piano. Stella has never been bothered much by the Klan, she just has to stay out of their way and not make trouble. Then Stella and her little brother see something that changes everything. The Klan has crossed the line. More and more, the colored population is reacting with little acts, and more and more the Klan responds badly. Stella has now experienced more hardships than she has ever known, but things keep going worse for her. Will her world be the same?
        First of all, this book was written by the author of Out of My Mind, and I fell in love with that book so much! I think that Out of My Mind is my favorite book of all time, and I was so excited to read another book by this author! Stella by Starlight was so good! It is one of the many extremely good books about segregation in the South after the Civil War. A lot of books have been written about this topic, but this book is definitely one of my favorites. It was very well written, and the characters had such bravery and courage, it made for a great read. I am still saving the 5 stars for another book, however. Towards the end there are little breaks in between the story which I personally loved, they really showed how she could fix one of her problems. I would definitely recommend this book for third graders to seventh graders, it is a bit of a young book. It does have real problems that happened in it though. You should try this book out if you were one of the many that loved Out of My Mind, it has a different type of plot but the author is still writing in that same great way! Read it in your free time!

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Teen Tech Month at St. Louis County Library

Teen Tech Month - March 2015 - Libraries are for making...

Calling all teens who like technology! The St. Louis County Library is participating with many other libraries in celebrating Teen Tech Month. This month the library will be encouraging teens to take advantage and use the technology at libraries. You should definitely go to the library and embrace the technology! There will be Minecraft, a robotics demonstration, DIY craft projects, gaming nights and more! Go to to find out the dates and to sign up.